The best quote from Judge Walker

Judge Vaughn Walker has made the decision today that California’s Prop 8 is unconstitutional. He lists a number of reasons it is an illegal amendment, but I think the best quote of his so far is this one:

“Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license,” Walker wrote. “Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples.”

Targeted persecution isn’t exactly allowed under the U.S. Constitution.

There’s going to be plenty said about this, especially when it gets to the Supreme Court, but I think the biggest complaint from bigots is going to be that this undermines the will of the people. That’s an intellectually dishonest, political, rhetorical, empty, lie of an argument. Rights aren’t dependent upon the say of the majority. As James Madison once said,

There is no maxim, in my opinion, which is more liable to be misapplied, and which, therefore, more needs elucidation, than the current one, that the interest of the majority is the political standard of right and wrong.

Or Ayn Rand,

Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual).

Or Thomas Jefferson,

All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.

And when the 65+ crowd starts to fade away, support for equal rights for gays will become the will of the majority. It’s just sad that, like in the greatest days of the civil rights movement, it takes a court to protect the obvious rights of a group. This does, however, shine some light on the current day bigots’ support for the past court decisions that brought some degree of equality to racial minorities – despite what the majority thought. Depending on one’s source, roughly 2/3 of Americans were against interracial marriage a full year after the Supreme Court knocked down the laws against it. If the current day bigots were honest – and they aren’t – they would be howling that past Supreme Court decisions were wrong because they were counter to the beliefs of the majority.

3 Responses

  1. The only consistent definition of an “activist judge:” a judge who overturns a law I personally agree with.

  2. No, no howling out loud, anyway, about their real view of the legitimacy of interracial-marriage, and, excluding Greenspanish homophobes, I doubt they’d be quoting Rand.

  3. Also noteworthy is that nothing has been struck down as of yet. The ruling has been stayed pending appeal and will most likely end up in the supreme court.

    It now goes to the 9th circus of appeals which incidentally is the most over turned appeals court.

    We shall see.

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